The Cincinnati Bengals suffered at 20-0 home thrashing by the Baltimore Ravens. With such a convincing loss, can the Bengals recover to challenge in the AFC North?
The Bengals entered the 2017 season with dreams of returning to the top of the division. But after a week one blow out loss to the division rival Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals lofty dreams have turned into a nightmare.
Yes, it’s only one game and there are fifteen remaining, so it’s possible that the Bengals could turn things around. However, it’s not just that the Bengals lost, it’s how they lost that’s so disturbing.
For starters, they got shut out at home. The Bengals couldn’t even muster a field goal against the Ravens defense. Now the Ravens have a good defense but still, for an NFL team to not even get on the score board is just ridiculous.
The Cincinnati Bengals offense could only produce a paltry 221 yards. Quarterback Andy Dalton was sacked five times and threw 4 interceptions. The Bengals had five turnovers in total and Dalton could only manage 144 yards passing.
The Bengals defense gave up 157 yards rushing to Ravens and could only force one turnover. Some of this could be attributed to not having linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the lineup due to suspension.
The Cincinnati Bengals won’t get Burfict back for another two games, but the defense will be competitive for now without him. However, the Bengals defense didn’t get much help from the offense and if they are to turn things around, the offense has to get it going.
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Andy Dalton was under a lot of pressure, but that’s still no excuse for throwing four picks and he only completed 51% of his passes. The Bengals have a stable of running backs and they have to get more from them than 77 yards rushing.
This, and better blocking from the offensive line could help take some of the pressure from Andy Dalton. And Dalton will have better days this season. The weapons on offense are still there. A.J. Green is still one of the best receivers in the NFL.
But the Bengals got rocked and are laying on the canvas with the referee making a ten count. Bad news is the Ravens look good, the Pittsburgh Steelers are Super Bowl contenders and even the Cleveland Browns look improved. So if Dalton can’t reverse course and quick, then things will only get worse for the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North.